Vacillating, a decision wavering somewhere between a four and a five, I wonder: would I feel differently about Stubbs the Zombie if I were to know nothing about the people behind it?
For the first twenty minutes, I loved Metal Slug 4 intensely. It's been long, too long, since I've played a game of such simplicity. There's no cut-scene-based preamble, no mood building: expect exposition no more elaborate than the brief looming of 'boss' before the battle ensues, or a thumbs-up from an ally at the end of a level.
As a kid, I discovered a £1.99 football management game for the Spectrum called On The Bench. I really enjoyed it until I discovered that you didn't actually need to field a full eleven in each match. In fact, I found that you could simply sell your entire fourth-division first team, buy Gary Lineker (or an equivalent big-name player), and allow him to single-handedly win matches for you. I didn't play it again, and - this being 1988 - felt positively virtuous for having pirated it.
With its actual racing engine pushing all the right pedals, it's alarming to discover that WRC: Rally Evolved suffers from what can only be described as an identity crisis. That it's clearly designed to appeal to as broad an audience as possible isn't an issue. However, it appears to have been crafted with the execrable "mainstream gamers = idiots" equation in mind, the insulting assumption that casual players will be sent screaming from the room by any hint of complexity or difficulty.